"Prepare for the worst, sir,—we have sprung a leak!"
"Right aft the second row of logs."
"Nothing but a miracle can save us! Don't let the men know, or there will be a panic and mutiny! Lay her in shore and stand by to jump with the stern-line the moment she touches. Gentlemen, I must look to you to second my endeavors in this hour of peril. You have hats,—go forrard and bail for your lives!"
Down swept another mighty blast of wind, clothed in spray and thick darkness. At such a moment as this, came from
THE RAFT IN A STORM.
away forward that most appalling of all cries that are ever heard at sea,—
The captain shouted,—
"Hard a-port! Never mind the man! Let him climb aboard or wade ashore!"
Another cry came down the wind,—
"Not a log's length off her port fore-foot!"We had groped our slippery way forward, and were now